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Name: Lumpkin, Mike
Current Position: Assistant Secretary

Michael D. Lumpkin was sworn in as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) on April 25, 2011. In this job, Lumpkin assists the Assistant Secretary of Defense (SO/LIC) in developing policy regarding special operations forces, strategic forces and conventional forces. It also puts him in the position of leader of the multi-department Technical Support Working Group.

Born in 1964 in Oceanside, California, Lumpkin grew up in nearby Vista, California, and graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1986. In 1995, Lumpkin also earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His thesis consisted of a data analysis of numerous incidents of violence at sea between 1975 and 1995. 
Upon graduating from UCSD in 1986, Lumpkin joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Navy SEAL for the next 21 years, until 2007. The Department of Defense recognizes him as a specialist in both the Western Hemisphere and Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict. As a Navy SEAL, Lumpkin served eight operational tours and one as Commanding Officer of a Team, participating in numerous counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations around the world, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and Central and South America. 
He also served as Commanding Officer of the Naval Small Craft Instructional and Technical Training School, which trained foreign nationals in riverine and maritime operations. Immediately after the September 11, 2001, attacks, he was assigned as Officer in Charge of the training and readiness of all West Coast SEAL Teams.
Lumpkin served as the Deputy Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2004, he served as the Deputy Commander of all Special Operations in Iraq, where he supervised the daily operations of more than 2,000 Special Operators working in more than 40 locations throughout the country. While in Iraq, he also oversaw the operations of 6 High Value Target interrogation facilities. His final military assignment was to lobby Congress on policy and funding issues relating to Special Forces. 
Lumpkin retired from the Navy in 2007 and, like quite a few returning veterans, decided to run for Congress as a Democrat in California’s strongly Republican 52nd Congressional District in San Diego. Running on a platform of ending the war in Iraq quickly and abolishing most earmarks, Lumpkin won the April 2008 Democratic primary with 52% of the votes. He then tried to pitch himself as a non-liberal Democrat, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune, “I begin and end my days with horse feed and a shovel in my hands. Most of us gun-owning, four-wheel-driving, outdoor desert types don't relate much with coastal elitism. However, spending a lifetime in the water as part of an elite fighting team like the SEALS might qualify.”  Nonetheless, he lost the general election 56% to 39% to Republican Duncan D. Hunter, whose father, Duncan L. Hunter, represented the area in Congress for 29 years. 
After losing the election, Lumpkin took a job as Director of Business Development for Aardvark Tactical, Inc., a mid-size defense firm located in La Verne, California, that specializes in riot control equipment. 
After two years at Aardvark, Lumpkin returned to public service, serving as both Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 
Lumpkin and his wife, Jill, Have a son and two granddaughters.
Micro-Violence at Sea, 1975–1995: A Data Analysis (by Michael D. Lumpkin, United States Naval Post-Graduate School (pdf)
Hot Seat: Mike Lumpkin (San Diego Union-Tribune)
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